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Breaking with Old Ideas

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Breaking with Old Ideas

by China

Published 1975

One of the most controversial dramatic films produced in China during the cultural revolution, "Breaking" is about the struggle to democratize education in the countryside. Made during Mao Tse Tung's infamous Cultural Revolution.

Run time 02:07:41
Producer China
Audio/Visual MPEG Audio Layer 3 48000Hz stereo 128Kbps, XVID 640x432 29.97fps
Language Cantonese (with English subtitles)


Reviewer: wuxiandis - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 7, 2013
Subject: Fascinating and Scary
The film had good production values.

An amazing document from an insane time.
Reviewer: egau - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 28, 2011
Subject: Re: Socialism's Ungly truth
"The Conscious" has misunderstood the movie's plot or perhaps not watched it carefully. Students are not rewarded by Principal Long for "quoting the party line" but for basing their efforts and studies on what actually matters, i.e. helping relieve the poverty of the neighboring peasants, rather than for simply grades are desire to increase their status. And most importantly they do this even when the party line has seemingly turned towards a capitalist path, a very prescient message during the last months of the Cultural Revolution, and only a brief time before Deng Xiaoping's economic reforms.

The movie is just as appropriate to the present in the U.S. has it was in 1975 China, though it may be difficult for people not used to the format to get passed some of the 1975 vocabulary (such as Mao Zedong Thought, the Party, etc) and singing. I would recommend not getting thrown off by this and instead listen and enjoy the story that is portrayed.
Reviewer: Extinct - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 19, 2011
Subject: Postmodern view
Until I saw this film, I though vocational drift (a tendency to value utilitarian employability) in education was a capitalist invention.

Superb scene with two lumps of clay demonstrates the high esteem in which communists hold labour. Both political extremes mount arguments against elitism.

Reviewer: MikeManners - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 14, 2010
Subject: What is Wrong with letting the poor have a Chance?
I say STICK IT to the Bourgeois Elite who want to keep us poor, ignorant, sick, under employed, and without hope. The Capitalist Elites want US to be mere peasants to fill their Temp Jobs - without benefits, Health Care, Raises, or chance for promotion or more steady employment.

If we rose up against the owners of Wall-Mart, Shell, BP, and the blood sucking Insurance and Drug Companies and PUT THEM in Temp jobs then MAYBE we could have a true Revolution.

Give me a smiling peasant for a College Principal if he will give me a chance to better my lot.

Down with Capitalist Elites!
Reviewer: The Conscience - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 12, 2010
Subject: Socialism's Ugly Truth
This film shows the ugly truth behind communism. If you are loyal to the party you can be a smiling idiot with no academic values or credentials and become head of a college but if you are a brilliant dissident you can do as well as the other peasant laborers, and according to communism, there is no shame in that. But there is no honor, dignity or recognition for your superiority in intelligence or skill either.

In communism as portrayed in this film every semiliterate activist is extolled for his "leadership" (i.e. ability to quote the party line) but noone is given credit for his ability or skill.

Despite its attempt to promote communism, a critical viewer will be able to use a great deal of what it says and portrays to argue the fallacies of socialism and communism. For that reason I give it 5 stars.
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